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Zed’s homework

By johnboy - 14 February 2012 54

legislative assembly

With the Liberals’ timesheet saga getting worse we’ve got a copy of John Hargreaves’ motion passed by the Assembly this morning. It’s not happy reading for the Liberals, even less so because it requires them to answer an unholy series of questions by COB Thursday:

(a) why did the Leader of the Opposition fail to observe his responsibilities under the Members Code of Conduct, paragraph 8 to ensure, in relation to the acquittal of work hours by staff employed by him under the LAMS Act 1989, by allowing periods of up to 22 months to elapse without staff in his office submitting appropriate documentation in relation to attendance, TOIL and overtime;

(b) how did the Leader of the Opposition satisfy himself that recollections of attendance up to 22 months earlier were the correct recollection of attendance when he certified those records to be correct;

(c) what documentary evidence has been relied upon for the retrospective approvals for unpaid leave and attendance at work during the extensive periods in question?

(d) does the Director of Electorate Services in the office of the Leader of the Opposition work in the Leader’s Legislative Assembly office in a full-time capacity;

(e) if so, does the Director of Electorate Services have written approval to work off-site away from the office of the Leader of the Opposition in accordance with clause E8 of the Enterprise Agreement;

(f) has there been consultation with Corporate Services in accordance with clause E8.2 of the Enterprise Agreement and if so, when was that consultation and with whom;

(g) does the Director of Electorate Services in the office of the Leader of the Opposition currently occupy the position of the President of the Canberra Liberals;

(h) does this person work in the latter capacity from Level 5, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City;

(i) if so, has the holder of these positions sought and received unpaid leave from the Leader of the Opposition’s employment prior to any work as President of the Canberra Liberals, during normal working hours;

(j) have any other staff of the Leader of the Opposition have written approval to work off-site; if so, in what capacity and for what periods;

(k) have any staff employed by the Leader of the Opposition undertaken party political campaigning or related activities without having received prior approval for unpaid leave from the Leader of the Opposition; and

(l) if so, have these periods of political campaigning been declared as gifts or gifts in kind under relevant ACT and/or Federal electoral campaign finance laws; if not, why not

For those wondering where the second half of this is going Tio Faulkner is the Director of Electorate Services and also President of the Canberra branch of the Liberal Party.

This dual role has raised eyebrows before.

It gets worse for Zed though.

Because in addition to Zed’s significant homework the Speaker (Shane Rattenbury) has been directed to get a workplace audit done, which will include reconciling the timesheets with the Legislative Assembly’s building access records.

For Zed’s sake one hopes the coming homework, the retrospectively filed timesheets, and the building access records don’t show significant discrepancies.

What’s Your opinion?


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Thumper said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Thumper said :

Meanwhile….

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/no-punishment-for-hargreaves-geriatric-community-council-slur-20120216-1tap4.html

Hargraves is a drunk and a fool, but calling Jefrreys a closet liberal (which he is) is not on par with alleged fraud.

No, it’s not.

But just pointing out that the government is probably far from clean as well. Or maybe Hargreaves is just a borish oaf.

Maybe there should be an across the board opening of books to see what’s in there?

Actually, that would interesting.

It would be good to see a breathalyser at the door to the Chamber…

Thumper 2:40 pm 16 Feb 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Thumper said :

Meanwhile….

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/no-punishment-for-hargreaves-geriatric-community-council-slur-20120216-1tap4.html

Hargraves is a drunk and a fool, but calling Jefrreys a closet liberal (which he is) is not on par with alleged fraud.

No, it’s not.

But just pointing out that the government is probably far from clean as well. Or maybe Hargreaves is just a borish oaf.

Maybe there should be an across the board opening of books to see what’s in there?

Actually, that would interesting.

Thumper said :

Meanwhile….

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/no-punishment-for-hargreaves-geriatric-community-council-slur-20120216-1tap4.html

Hargraves is a drunk and a fool, but calling Jefrreys a closet liberal (which he is) is not on par with alleged fraud.

EvanJames said :

Thumper said :

However, when we talk serious issues you only need read back through this thread to see that there are much, much more serious issues that some missing timesheets.

It’s not missing timesheets per se, but a seemingly deliberate attempt at fraudulent use of taxpayer-funded staff for an inappropriate purpose. A bit like spending the petty cash on weekly drinks, and then trying to cover it up. I presume there’s some kind of FMA Act covering ACT government, and this is in direct contravention of it, it’s not a technicality.

It is much more serious than a few missing timesheets, if the allegations are correct, we are talking about deliberate and systematic fraud. To make matters worse, Seselja was given repeated warnings about this.

The suggestion that the Liberal Party may have been the beneficiary of the alleged fraud is made all the worse when viewed in conjuntion with the recent debacle regarding the giving of community grants to party hacks by Mr Seselja’s office.

housebound 10:56 am 16 Feb 12

EvanJames said :

Thumper said :

However, when we talk serious issues you only need read back through this thread to see that there are much, much more serious issues that some missing timesheets.

It’s not missing timesheets per se, but a seemingly deliberate attempt at fraudulent use of taxpayer-funded staff for an inappropriate purpose. A bit like spending the petty cash on weekly drinks, and then trying to cover it up. I presume there’s some kind of FMA Act covering ACT government, and this is in direct contravention of it, it’s not a technicality.

It could be that everybody’s right, and no one is.
Faking timesheets is serious. But so are many other things that have gone on with this government. It is getting to the stage where even the Ombudsman has called out the government for ‘creating evangelists’ against it because of the way people have been treated, and that doesn’t even start to look at the actions of various ministers over the years.

It is good to be accountable about timesheets, but when will the Greens demand accountability on so many other issues? Why is fraud or deceit a concern only if they can accuse the Liberals of doing it? And if it were so serious, why did the Assembly secretariat not report the concerns directly to the Assembly?

Disclaimer: we can’t say anything has been done until it is proven (or not).

EvanJames 10:19 am 16 Feb 12

Thumper said :

However, when we talk serious issues you only need read back through this thread to see that there are much, much more serious issues that some missing timesheets.

It’s not missing timesheets per se, but a seemingly deliberate attempt at fraudulent use of taxpayer-funded staff for an inappropriate purpose. A bit like spending the petty cash on weekly drinks, and then trying to cover it up. I presume there’s some kind of FMA Act covering ACT government, and this is in direct contravention of it, it’s not a technicality.

Thumper 9:14 am 16 Feb 12

“Leapt upon”? It’s Estimates week. Feels like I’ve barely been near RA. But I don’t think I’m the only one thinks this issue is actually a fairly serious matter of principles and the people who hold themselves up as the alternative government.

Don’t get me wrong Al. I too think it’s a serious issue and I also think Seselja is not the man to lead the libs.

However, when we talk serious issues you only need read back through this thread to see that there are much, much more serious issues that some missing timesheets.

housebound 8:02 am 16 Feb 12

On Win News last night, John Hargreaves was telling us all how serious it was because it could bring the Assembly into disrepute.

Oh John, where do we start?

I can think of a few disrepute-bringing actions to add to the list.

Gungahlin Al 10:38 pm 15 Feb 12

Thumper said :

Timesheets sound a bit boring compared with the shenanigans surrounding the awarding of Revolve’s tender….now *that*’s something ICAC would consider right up their street.

I wonder what Gungahlin Al has to say on those, given how quickly he leapt upon the Seselja issue and insulation issues.

Revolve? I don’t know enough about the issue Thumper beyond the media coverage everyone else read. But without doubt there are a number of cases that warrant Maxine Cooper’s scrutiny. GDE is a prime one as others have already said. Millions wasted.

“Leapt upon”? It’s Estimates week. Feels like I’ve barely been near RA. But I don’t think I’m the only one thinks this issue is actually a fairly serious matter of principles and the people who hold themselves up as the alternative government.

astrojax 10:21 pm 15 Feb 12

yebbut, at root, it’s just paper work.

is anyone suggesting that these staffers have diddled the act taxpayer by not working their allotted hours? i’d like to bet the eagle’s nest’s next hoard of cider that they have in fact worked in excess of their ‘standard work hours’ – so really, what’s the big deal? can we have some hype about actual like government policies and their corollary failures or successes?

Thumper 7:14 pm 15 Feb 12

HenryBG said :

jimbocool said :

geni_lou said :

Mismanagement’s very different from corruption. Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a special type to willingly rip off public funds for their own ends. If we had an ICAC this would be considered with the weight it deserves.

Intersting point – what would ICAC make of this given its controversial investigation and findings around NSW MLA Angela D’Amore and some apparently minor anomalies regarding staff entitlements? http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/labor-mps-furious-as-payment-inquiry-widens-20101207-18og7.html

Timesheets sound a bit boring compared with the shenanigans surrounding the awarding of Revolve’s tender….now *that*’s something ICAC would consider right up their street.

I wonder what Gungahlin Al has to say on those, given how quickly he leapt upon the Seselja issue and insulation issues.

HenryBG 6:18 pm 15 Feb 12

jimbocool said :

geni_lou said :

Mismanagement’s very different from corruption. Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a special type to willingly rip off public funds for their own ends. If we had an ICAC this would be considered with the weight it deserves.

Intersting point – what would ICAC make of this given its controversial investigation and findings around NSW MLA Angela D’Amore and some apparently minor anomalies regarding staff entitlements? http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/labor-mps-furious-as-payment-inquiry-widens-20101207-18og7.html

Timesheets sound a bit boring compared with the shenanigans surrounding the awarding of Revolve’s tender….now *that*’s something ICAC would consider right up their street.

Alderney 1:35 pm 15 Feb 12

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave’, once said Sir Humphrey Appleby.

There was always going to be an inherent risk in having a member of MLA staff with a position on the Management Committee of the lay Liberal Party, let alone as the President.

This has been pointed out to Liberal MsLA and I am aware of persons who have left the Canberra Liberals because of this very issue.

I recall one individual from the Southern Electorate Branch of the Canberra Liberals who brought a motion in 2010 to amend the Constitution of the ACT Division of the Liberal Party to specifically prohibit persons who work for Members in the MLA or the Federal Parliament from holding positions on the Management Committee in the lay party. Too much of a blurring of distinction between the Parliamentary Party and the lay party. That motion was roundly defeated with the assistance of the Young Liberals who, for some reason, have a vote in the Young Libs and the senior party. This is not allowed in any other Division of the Party; one is either a YL or in the senior party.

Let’s hope that this push results in changes to the Constitution of the ACT Division. I do however hope that government changes hands later this year. This Green/Labor coalition is tired, ineffectual and unable to govern effectively. Time for the Libs to be given a shot.

I think Jeremy Hanson would make a fantastic Chief Minister.

jimbocool 11:51 am 15 Feb 12

geni_lou said :

Mismanagement’s very different from corruption. Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a special type to willingly rip off public funds for their own ends. If we had an ICAC this would be considered with the weight it deserves.

Intersting point – what would ICAC make of this given its controversial investigation and findings around NSW MLA Angela D’Amore and some apparently minor anomalies regarding staff entitlements? http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/labor-mps-furious-as-payment-inquiry-widens-20101207-18og7.html

So we are, what six months out from an election? Plenty of time for this to really get messy. One wonders what else will come out…I guess it has given John Hargaeves something to do…
http://the-riotact.com/john-hargeaves-what-a-busy-man/44813

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

This could actually get worse for Zed, if I recall flexsheets/timesheets are considered time and wages documents and there is a legal requirement to keep them for seven years.

I wonder if anyone has reported him to the Fair Work Ombudsman yet…the Fair Work Ombudsman, 13 13 94 – Mon-Fri 8am-6pm…

Currently, there is a 4 year waiting time for an alleged fraud matter to be heard by Fair Work, at least for Labor MPs named Thomson.

That is Fair Work Australia, not the Fair Work Ombudsman…

p1 10:21 am 15 Feb 12

steveu said :

“Zed is dead babe, Zed is dead…”

Beat me to it 🙂

Maybe they are going to make up the budget shortfall by taking back all the money that was paid to Zeds staffers while they were working on Lib stuff?

I always laugh when I hear people lamenting the fools that vote Labor, or the other fools who vote Greens ’cause that just keeps Labor in power. Maybe the fools who vote in these Liberal muppets are just as stupid, there just aren’t as many of them?

geni_lou 10:07 am 15 Feb 12

Mismanagement’s very different from corruption. Everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a special type to willingly rip off public funds for their own ends. If we had an ICAC this would be considered with the weight it deserves.

Thumper 9:19 am 15 Feb 12

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

This could actually get worse for Zed, if I recall flexsheets/timesheets are considered time and wages documents and there is a legal requirement to keep them for seven years.

I wonder if anyone has reported him to the Fair Work Ombudsman yet…the Fair Work Ombudsman, 13 13 94 – Mon-Fri 8am-6pm…

Currently, there is a 4 year waiting time for an alleged fraud matter to be heard by Fair Work, at least for Labor MPs named Thomson.

Good point.

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